Teraflop per second gravitational lensing ray-shooting using graphics processing units

Alexander C. Thompson, Christopher J. Fluke, David G. Barnes, Benjamin R. Barsdell
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, P.O. Box 218, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia
New Astronomy, Volume 15, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 16-23, arXiv:0905.2453v1 [astro-ph.IM] (15 May 2009)


   title={Teraflop per second gravitational lensing ray-shooting using graphics processing units},

   author={Thompson, A.C. and Fluke, C.J. and Barnes, D.G. and Barsdell, B.R.},

   journal={New Astronomy},








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Gravitational lensing calculation using a direct inverse ray-shooting approach is a computationally expensive way to determine magnification maps, caustic patterns, and light-curves (e.g. as a function of source profile and size). However, as an easily parallelisable calculation, gravitational ray-shooting can be accelerated using programmable graphics processing units (GPUs). We present our implementation of inverse ray-shooting for the NVIDIA G80 generation of graphics processors using the NVIDIA Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) software development kit. We also extend our code to multiple-GPU systems, including a 4-GPU NVIDIA S1070 Tesla unit. We achieve sustained processing performance of 182 Gflop/s on a single GPU, and 1.28 Tflop/s using the Tesla unit. We demonstrate that billion-lens microlensing simulations can be run on a single computer with a Tesla unit in timescales of order a day without the use of a hierarchical tree code.
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